Big changes from Google and Apple loom on the horizon for the advertising industry. In this post, our CTO, Adam Woods, explains what 2021 has in store for marketers and why he’s optimistic about advertising in the post-cookie world.
What changes are coming for the advertising industry in 2021?
These major changes will affect every company and person engaging in advertising. These changes will alter the underpinnings that we have used for decades to help advertisers connect with customers when engaging with all kinds of different content, from web surfing to video streaming. A significant portion of all advertising is based on the value exchange of getting free or subsidized content in exchange for a fraction of your attention.
The changes are being driven by two major announcements from Google and Apple. As you’ve probably heard, Google announced last year that they will be phasing out third-party cookies in Chromium-based browsers, including Chrome, Brave, and Microsoft’s Edge browsers, just to name a few. This is also the current default state for Apple’s Safari browsers. These browsers cover the vast majority of the total market share in both desktop and mobile.
The second announcement from Apple is that they will be restricting an application’s ability to access the IDFA (ID for Advertising) in a similar way that Apple device users currently see location services, where you have to opt-in on an app-by-app basis to allow the app developers to see the IDFA.
What does this mean for me as a Choozle advertiser?
The changes from Google and Apple are evolving dates and are not yet fully in effect yet, but we believe these changes will occur sometime in 2021. If we did nothing as an industry, then we would move back to 1999–where all of the digital advertising was untargeted, and there was no such thing as programmatic advertising!
Fortunately for us, Choozle is partnering with The Trade Desk on an industry-leading initiative called Unified ID 2.0. At this time, it is the most credible solution for this challenge and is being built from a collaborative and open perspective, providing a strong voice to independent publishers.
This framework ultimately comes down to working at scale with publishers and content owners to do a better job of directly interacting with the consumers of their content to get better visibility into their identity, mostly through email in registration and single sign-on capacities. This provides an opportunity to have a clear question to the consumer about whether they want to continue participating in the value exchange of targeted advertising for free or subsidized content.
That sounds great, but will it affect campaign performance and our ability to measure outcomes?
The honest answer is we don’t yet know. My strong belief is that we will get enough participation from publishers and consumers to get to critical mass. Once we reach critical mass across the industry, we will see that targeting is actually more accurate because it will be largely pinned to email addresses, which is the most stable and longest-lasting beacon of identity that we see. We will also see that there will be some loss of scale where more interactions aren’t targetable. Smart advertisers using our best practices will see the better targeting offset the loss of some scale.
The great thing is that Choozle has a long history in bringing the abilities to use advertiser CRM data to do targeting, so we are uniquely positioned to help our customers quickly adapt to this change and even benefit from it. We are working closely with our key partners to build replacement capabilities based on these changes, so there should be little impact from these major changes from a customer perspective.